Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook to return Thursday versus Heat

THUNDER VS. HEAT — Oklahoma City announces point guard Russell Westbrook will return for its home game Thursday against Miami.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: February 20, 2014

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Russell Westbrook will rejoin the Thunder lineup Thursday against Miami after a 27-game absence, the team has announced.

Westbrook hasn't played since Christmas Day due to swelling that mandated a third surgery on his right knee.

"We are all very excited to have Russell back," Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a prepared statement announcing Westbrook's return. "He has worked extremely hard throughout his rehabilitation, and his addition will allow us to build on the progress we have made in his absence.

"As Russell integrates back into the team we are going to manage the transition by building his minutes over time and will evaluate his availability in back-to-back situations. These steps are an effort to control the areas of his return to play where feasible, given the reduced practice and conditioning time during the regular season. Our goal is to create the best foundation for Russell and the team as we head into the postseason."

Westbrook was playing the best basketball of his career prior to the latest surgery. In 25 games this season, Westbrook is averaging 21.3 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Over his last 10 games, Westbrook was averaging 21.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 9.2 assists. In his last game before being shut down, Westbrook scored 14 points with 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a 29-point road win over New York on Christmas Day.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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